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Doing Qualitative Research in Psychology

Doing Qualitative Research in Psychology
A Practical Guide

Second Edition
Edited by:
Additional resources:

December 2018 | 376 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Taking you through each aspect of the research process and explaining the unique challenges of using qualitative methods in psychology, this book offers a complete guide to successfully conducting a qualitative psychological research project.

Clear, concise and accessible, this ‘how to’ manual folds key skills like research design and using technology and software into each chapter. This second edition offers: 

- A thorough introduction to foundational concepts that support you through each step of the research process

- New chapters on thematic and narrative analysis

- A set of digital resources designed to make learning about qualitative methods as easy and interactive as possible, including video recordings and transcripts to build key analysis techniques

Through a pragmatic, practical lens, this book provides the perspective and the tools you need to recognize, collect, interpret, and communicate quality qualitative psychological data.

Michael A. Forrester is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Kent, Canterbury.

Cath Sullivan is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Central Lancashire.

Cath Sullivan & Michael Forrester
Chapter 1: This book and how to use it
Part I: Formulating Research Questions
Cath Sullivan
Chapter 2: Theory and method in qualitative psychology
Nigel King
Chapter 3: Research ethics in qualitative research
Nollaig Frost & Deborah Bailey-Rodriguez
Chapter 4: Quality in qualitative research
Rachel Shaw
Chapter 5: Conducting literature reviews
Part II: Collecting Qualitative Data
Stephen Gibson & Sarah Riley
Chapter 6: Approaches to data collection in qualitative research
Nigel King & Siobhan Hugh-Jones
Chapter 7: The interview in qualitative research
Part III: Practical Examples of Qualitative Analysis
Stephen Gibson
Chapter 8: Creating a data set to illustrate different approaches to analysis
Leanne Freeman & Cath Sullivan
Chapter 9: Thematic analysis
Rachel Shaw
Chapter 10: Interpretative phenomenological analysis
Deborah Bailey-Rodriguez , Nollaig Frost & Frauke Elichoaff
Chapter 11: Narrative analysis
Sally Wiggins & Sarah Riley
Chapter 12: Discourse analysis
Michael Forrester
Chapter 13: Conversation analysis
Alasdair Gordon-Finlayson
Chapter 14: Grounded theory
Part IV: Outcomes and Results
Colm Crowley
Chapter 15: Writing your qualitative research report


Click for online resources
  • Datasets  give students the opportunity to put theory into practice and supports their learning with audio and transcripts of five real interviews.
  • Interview guide offers information on how to understand and interpret the datasets. 
  • Videos strengthen student's understanding with tips and tutorials on key concepts. 
  • Weblinks direct students to helpful resources to broaden their understanding of the topics and enhance the learning experience.

This textbook will be a fantastic resource for psychology students, providing the essential theoretical underpinnings of qualitative approaches alongside practical examples, tips and techniques.  Subjecting the same transcript to multiple analyses provides a unique opportunity to witness qualitative research in action – to appreciate the value and unique nature of different qualitative methods.

Eleanor Bradley
University of Worcester

This book provides an excellent introduction to the main approaches in qualitative research in psychology. Using the same data across all approaches makes this book unique. I highly recommend this very practical guide to graduate students and teachers alike.

Carolin Demuth
Aalborg University

This accessible and engaging practical guide to collecting and analysing qualitative data is a must have for undergraduate psychology students.

Craig Owen
St Mary’s University

Written both for the novice and those with experience in conducting qualitative research, this is a well-written and accessible text. All aspects of the research process from question formulation through to writing up a research report are covered in detail.

Dannette Marie
University of Aberdeen

The textbook is useful for those who have started to plan doing qualitative research in psychology. It gives not only guidelines on how to plan and proceed with the project, but also encourages ethical reflection.

Eleonora Bielawska-Batorowicz
The University of Lódz

I think I'd advise students to look to this book for the section on research questions, ethics, quality and lit reviews (this last particularly important for our students). I think the final chapter (research report) has some helpful guidance too.

Dr Richard Parker
Education,Communication & Language Sciences, Newcastle University
October 25, 2019

I LOVE this book. It is clear and practical, with everything that an undergraduate psychology student might need to undertake their own qualitative research project. I particularly like the way that a single data set is used to explore different approaches to data analysis, and the last chapter on qualitative report writing is a very valuable addition. I wish that I had had this when I was a student.

Ms Shara Lochun
School of Human Sciences, London Metropolitan University
September 19, 2019

This is a really accessible and practical guide to doing qualitative research. The addition of a set of online resources that compliment this book add an excellent practical example of how qualitative work is conducted and analysed. Any Psychology student requiring guidance in how to conduct qualitative work would be well advised to start with this book.

Dr Kirsten Bartlett
Department of Psychology, Sheffield University
August 11, 2019